Mammograms: Facts Vs Myths
Mammography remains the gold standard screening technique and offers an effective means to detect breast cancer early. Although most women know they should undergo mammograms at some point in their lives, there is still some confusion regarding them. Dr. Sadir Alrawi – Director of Surgical Oncology at Al Zahra Hospital Dubai separates myths and facts about mammograms.
Mammograms can only detect signs of cancer when it’s too late to treat it. – MYTH
Mammograms are used as a golden standard in diagnosing breast cancer and it can detect cancer cells years before physical symptoms develop in the breast.
Mammograms are uncomfortable – TRUTH
Mammograms are uncomfortable when carried out although this discomfort is short-lived. New technology has reduced the discomfort and painful sensation experienced by women when undergoing Mammograms.
Mammograms cause cancer due to radiation – MYTH
Repeated X-rays are a health hazard. However, mammograms use a very low level of radiation. The danger posed by this level of radiation is very small and the benefits of mammography outweigh the risks.
Self-examining the breast can replace Mammograms. – MYTH
Self-examination is very important in the early detection of lumps and other abnormal physical appearance of the breast. However, it cannot replace mammograms. Studies have shown that breast self-exam alone is not enough to reduce the number of breast cancer deaths.
Mammograms can make the difference between living dyeing – TRUTH
Mammograms are the gold standard for breast cancer detection. It can make the difference between catching breast cancer at an early stage or when it is too late.
Only Women over the age of 50 should do a mammogram – MYTH
International guidelines advise that any woman over the age of 40 should do a yearly mammogram. Women that have a family history of breast cancer should start getting mammograms 5 years earlier than the youngest age diagnosis in the family.